German Chancellor Angela Merkel is no fan of President Trump, but even she is speaking out against Twitter’s decision to ban him, calling it “problematic.”
“The right to freedom of opinion is of fundamental importance,” said Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s chief spokesman on Monday. “Given that, the chancellor considers it problematic that the president’s accounts have been permanently suspended.”
Seibert says that Twitter was right in flagging Trump’s tweets that he says were “inaccurate,” but banning his account was going too far. He said that governments, not private companies, should decide what, if any, limits there should be on free speech.
Merkel is not the only European leader speaking out against Twitter.
U.K Health Secretary Matt Hancock accused big tech of “taking editorial decisions” that raised a “very big question” about how social media is regulated. “That’s clear because they’re choosing who should and shouldn’t have a voice on their platform,” Hancock told the BBC on Sunday.
“The fact that a CEO can pull the plug on POTUS’s loudspeaker without any checks and balances is perplexing,” wrote Thierry Breton, the European Union’s commissioner for the internal market on Politico. “It is not only confirmation of the power of these platforms, but it also displays deep weaknesses in the way our society is organized in the digital space.”
Twitter used the assault on the Capitol as a pretext for claiming that Trump “incited” an “insurrection” and was therefore in violation of their community standards—standards that apparently don’t apply to Iranian dictators and leftists who actually have called for violence on Twitter’s platform.
It’s hard to believe that officials in Europe have a better grasp of the meaning of freedom than American leftists. Sadly, that’s where we’re at now.
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Matt Margolis is the author of Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis